TIPS

In November 2003 the Police Department was approached by the Ben Gordon Mental Health Center regarding a grant they received from the Department of Juvenile Justice.  The grant was to be used in an effort to curb alcohol related incidents involving underage violators.
 
Cpl. Biarnesen was selected to administer the project.  He was sent to several training lectures as well as a 40-hour Illinois State Certification class to enable the department to conduct compliance checks. 

The department elected to implement four types of compliance checks:
  • Standard Bar Check.  Uniformed officers enter an establishment and conduct identification checks in an effort to locate underage violators.
  • Standard Business Check.  Underage agents are used and selected by Cpl. Biarnesen.  The agents must not have a criminal record due to the fact they may have to testify in court.  The agents dress as though they were going out with friends.  The department does not want the agents to look older than they are.  The agents must have a state identification or driver's license that is red indicating they are under the age of 21.  They are advised what to say while conducting a check.  The agents are told not to lie when asked for an ID or age.  They are to give the server their ID.  The agents are not allowed to attempt to convince the server to sell them alcohol after being asked for an ID.  The agents are then taken by officers to a local store to be age checked.  This is to help determine what the average person believes the ages of the agents are.  The opinion of 12 people are taken as they enter and exit the store.  The agents are then taken by officers to the pre-determined locations to conduct the business checks.
  • Shoulder Taps. Underage agents set up outside an establishment and attempt to have patrons buy alcohol for them.
  • Street Sweeps.  Officers patrol streets with a high volume of foot traffic looking for open container violations, as well as possession/consumption of alcohol by minors.
    TIPS TRAINING
    will be held the 3rd Wednesday of each month
    (Sept. 14th, October 12th, November 9th, December 14th)
    5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 
    You may call 815/748-8400 for registration
    OR
    Register On Line

In 2011 alcohol enforcement continued to be a priority for the department.  One of the continued goals of our department and the city is to train the establishments in our city on the state and city liquor laws and ordinances.  Included in this enforcement is the TIPS program.  This past year nine TIPS classes were held with 89 servers, managers, and bartenders completing the course.  Participants were instructed on the proper and effective ways to deal with difficult patrons and responsible serving.  The course included ideas to prevent problems and liability for the establishments and the individual server.  The course included proper carding of patrons and acceptable forms of identification.  This course will be a continuing effort in years to come to assure compliance with the city.